Ford Motor Co's turnaround was gaining momentum under former Boeing executive Alan Mulally, according to top executives of two of the largest U.S. auto dealership groups. In an interview with Reuters, AutoNation Inc. CEO Mike Jackson cited the "difference that one individual can make."
Jackson had been reacting to a panel of U.S. and Canadian automotive journalists naming the Ford Fusion Hybrid the car of the year and the Ford Transit Connect the truck of the year at the Detroit Auto Show.
Moreover, he added said that when Mulally came in 2006, he said that producing cars that people don't want to buy and yet are being forced into the market is "insanity."
Mike Jackson added that the Transit Connect, which he calls "funky", is a European style delivery vehicle/minivan that is emblematic of the new Ford. He said that he wanted to applaud whoever had a say in the award since he claims that the car wouldn't have passed market research but now has hit a "sweet spot"¹ in the marketplace.
Jackson also agreed with the statement of Earl Hesterberg, CEO of Group 1, who had a 33% sales gain in December, that Ford's successes should not surpass encouraging progress at General Motors, which is still the largest U.S. automaker.
Furthermore, he said that both men were looking to buy Ford dealerships in certain markets. It can be recalled that Ford was the only one of the three automakers not to declare bankruptcy or take U.S. taxpayer funds. [via autonews - sub. required]